Have you ever gotten trapped in a conversation at a party with the one guy who just can’t read social cues? He goes on and on and on about his neighbor’s dog’s nighttime barking habits or the latest article he read online about office furniture fabric and just won’t pick up on how you’re barely responding or keep glancing around the room for a way out. He just keeps talking about himself or what he thinks matters.

The first rule of content marketing is: Don’t Be That Guy.

Content Marketing – what you call blog posts, educational materials, articles, interviews, videos, infographics, and more – is about providing interesting content. It’s the conversations you overhear someone else having at a party and just have to stop and join in. It’s about providing value to your audience.

So why does this matter in healthcare, and how can you use it?

Well, for one thing, 81% of consumers research online before committing to a purchase. If you want to influence that buying decision, even in healthcare, you need to be creating content that answers the questions consumers search for online. But you need to do more than just publish syndicated health articles. Think about the questions your patients have when planning an arthroscopic knee surgery. Create and publish materials – like an infographic on what to expect pre-op, day of, and post-op knee surgery – that anticipate those questions and shows you have their concerns top of mind.

Your audience, all the potential and current patients in your population, is made up of individuals. Do you know how to address their unique needs and concerns? If you can identify who they are, you can determine which topics will resonate the most.

Above all, in content marketing, you want to be there. Be there to answer their questions when they’re searching. Be there as the leading authority, so they come to you for answers. After all, trust is a huge driving factor in healthcare choices, and you can earn more trust by providing answers to your audience through content.

When you’re ready to create great content, remember these key points. Content Marketing:

  1. Isn’t about you or your brand but about what your customer needs and wants
  2. Provides value to your customers, which helps you gain their trust
  3. Relates to your organization’s core values
  4. Follows SEO best practices for h1 titles, metadata, keyword, etc. aspects
  5. Includes dynamic imagery and graphics with appropriate alt-tags
  6. Includes a call to action to keep your customers engaged
  7. Is shareworthy and easily shareable through social links/icons
  8. Can be served up through personalization data cues to be highly relevant to each individual
  9. Can be reused, repurposed, and repackaged for different channels
  10. Can be analyzed and measured to inform future content creation by showing what works best

That’s a lot to remember, but you don’t have capture the attention of everyone at the party in one night. Rely on your internal experts to help come up with ideas for and craft content. Publish as often as you can do so regularly. Consistency is essential.

Think about small ways you can provide content to your consumers – whether it’s a post on your social networks driving patients to your latest article on heart health or sharing a link to a new study on diabetes management. The point is to show you’re in this with your consumers, thinking about the same issues and topics that concern them and their loved ones’ health.

Get started on your content marketing journey by requesting a free healthcare marketing assessment.